Virtual Reality Project – Update September 2020

Inside – Outside is the name we have given our Virtual Reality project. It will support those who have not been able to get outside through the coronavirus pandemic. Residents in care homes, particularly, will be able to take virtual visits to a wide range of interesting locations. These would cover iconic sites, such as the Botanical Gardens and the Museum of Welsh Life (St Fagans), through to local areas that may bring back memories or anywhere of general interest. We will also ‘take’ our audience to venues where we film entertaining events, such as the one presented in this article.

Elvis Tribute Act: Live in Ty Penallta

We were extremely grateful to CJ Horton who is well known for his “Tributes to Elvis” who enthusiastically agreed to do a special performance for our “Inside – Outside” project. There was a significant issue though – where could we hold a performance like this during the covid social distancing climate. Many thanks to Caerphilly County Borough Council for answering a request to use Ty Penallta in the positive. Also to Mark Faulkner and Paul Lynch who not only opened the doors to us after hours but helped throughout the performance.

The video provides a sample of the performance but rendered in 2D, of course.

Further Support

You will be aware from earlier reports that this project was made possible by a generous grant from the National Lottery. This enabled us to purchase a 360 camera and the 5 Oculus as well as professional training from PlayFrame. However, 360 filming of the ‘Elvis’ performance would not be sensible. We were very fortunate to obtain a further grant from Comic Relief that has enabled us to buy a 3D camera that is ideal in this situation.

Trafalgar Park Care Home, Nelson

All of these efforts would have come to nothing without the cooperation of the Care Homes. It was, therefore, critically important to find a care home that was prepared to help with a pilot of the system. Trafalgar Park Care Home has been magnificent in participating in our pilot. Particular thanks to Haley Vega Zabala, who can be seen here assisting Sandra Purnell, one of the residents, wearing the oculus and viewing the initial films we have taken.